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April 24th, 2014 marks the 450th birth anniversary of William Shakespeare.
Just thought of sharing some pictures from Stratford-upon-Avon. A timely tit-bit here – Avon, in old Welsh just meant “river”. So there are several Avons in England – and similarly there are several towns named Stratford. Shakespeare’s Stratford is on the banks of a river, and that’s how it ended up being called “Stratford-upon-Avon”.
Stratford, Main Street:
Is Shakespeare still alive? A street performer:
The main attraction at Stratford, obviously is the well preserved house where Shakespeare lived. It’s been converted to a very busy tourist place.
Side view of Shakespeare’s house:
Inside one of the rooms of the house:
Shakespeare’s father was a rich tanner by profession and was a rich man. Some leather in process, to bring back those times:
Inside one of the bedrooms:
How can you exit a “touristy” place, without entering the Gift Shop :) ?
This article by archaeologist Andrew Lawler has appeared in the January 2013 issue of the Archaeology magazine. According to this article, the so-called Buddhist stupa in Mohenjo-Daro might have been a structure from much earlier than Buddhist times. Read the article in the following link for more details:
It’s almost one century since the remains of Mohenjo-Daro were unearthed for the first time – but it certainly it still holds many secrets of Indian civilization!
A few years ago, when I wrote about Samasya Pooranam here, and here, I had no clue one day I could try these word games too. But over the last year, thanks to the wonderful lessons and posters on Padyapaana, I did make some effort in this direction. And I thought of presenting a few of those in this post.
Samasysa Pooranam refers to the art of completing a verse in a specified meter when one line of the verse is given. The given line in isolation may often border on being meaningless or ridiculous. It is up to you to solve the puzzle, and bring sense into the senseless line in an effective way.
The open nature of the problem can result scores of interesting solutions. Here are some of my recent trials at Samasya Poorana:
Question: “ರಾಮಗಾಗದ ಕಾರ್ಯ ಕಪಿಗಳಗುಂಪಿಗತಿ ಸುಲಭ ” - “The task easy for a bunch of monkeys is impossible for Rama”
This is the 3/6 line of a verse in written in Bhamini shatpadi meter. How can the almighty Rama be inferior to a bunch of monkeys? Oh Well, hold on. Didn’t a bunch of monkeys build the bridge across the ocean during Ramayana? True, but then how about solving the question a little differently?
ನೇಮದಲಿ ಹಂಬಲಿಸೆ ಸೀತೆಯು
ಕಾಮ ವೈರಿಯ ಮಡದಿ ಮಂಗಳ
ಧಾಮೆ ಗೌರಿಯ ಲಕ್ಷ ಪೂಜೆಗೆ ವಾನರರ ಸೈನ್ಯ
ರಾಮದಲಿ ಹೂಗಳನು ಬಿಡಿಸಿರೆ
ರಾಮಗಾಗದ ಕಾರ್ಯ ಕಪಿಗಳಗುಂಪಿಗತಿ ಸುಲಭ!
When Seeta wanted to perform the Laksha Pooje for Mangala Gouri, who else but the monkey army could climb up trees and bushes and pick all those flowers? Certainly Rama could not have done it so fast. Right?
Since we’re on the topic of Ramayana, here is a related samasya poorana – this one in mattebhavikreedita meter:
ಪತಿಗಳ್ ಸೀತೆಗದೆಷ್ಟು ಮಂದಿ ಗಣಿಸಲ್ಕೇನೊರ್ವರೇ? ಇರ್ವರೇ?
Sounds on the border of being offensive – Right? This kind of talk definitely not befit Seeta, who is considered the epitome of virtue!
I had to send Seeta to her Physics classroom to solve this :)
ಹಿತದೊಳ್ ತೋರ್ಪೆನು ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಪಾಠಗಳ ನಾಂ ನೀ ಬೇಗಬಾರೆಂದೆನ-
ಲ್ಕತಿಸಂತೋಷದಿ ಬಂದ ಸೀತೆ ಮುದದೊಳ್ ಕಣ್ಣಲ್ಲೆ ಕಣ್ಣಾಗಿ ಜಾ-
ಗೃತಿಯಿಂ ಪಟ್ಟಕಮಂ ತಳೆರ್ದಿರೆ ಮೊದಲ್ ಬಾನಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡರ್ ದಿವ-
ಸ್ಪತಿಗಳ್ ಸೀತೆಗದೆಷ್ಟು ಮಂದಿ! ಗಣಿಸಲ್ಕೇನೊರ್ವರೇಯಿರ್ವರೇ ?
What did Seeta see in her Physics class when she turned the kaleidoscope towards the sky? A hundred (or more) Suns! Definitely qualifies for the adjective “uncountable”!
(ಪಟ್ಟಕ = prism, but used here to mean a kaleidoscope ದಿವಸ್ಪತಿ = literally, the “lord of the day”, or the Sun)
OK, now let me move from Ramayana to Bharata, that is to India, more specifically today’s India. One of the samasya poorana lines given during the Shatavadhana in Dec 2012 was “ಭಾರತದಿ ದುಶ್ಯಾಸನನೆ ದ್ರೌಪದಿಯ ಸಖನಲ್ತೆ!” – “Truly, Dushyasana is a friend of Draupadi”.
Here is my solution, which unfortunately, is based on what happened in Delhi during Dec 2012:
ಲಾರು ಕೇಡಿಗ ದುರುಳರು ಬಲಾ-
ತ್ಕಾರಗೈದಿರೆ ಗೈದಿರೆ ಯಾರು ಕಾಯ್ದರು ರಾಜಧಾನಿಯಲಿ ?
ಭಾರತದಿ ದುಶ್ಯಾಸನನೆ ದ್ರೌಪದಿಯ ಸಖನಲ್ತೆ !
In one of my earlier posts on this subject here, I’d sort of mixed up two distinctly different puzzlers: Dattapadi and Samasya poorana. Let me not dwell into that, but suffice it to say that while Samasya Poorana refers to completing a verse when one of the lines is given, Dattapadi refers to composing a verse that includes set of given words are given, on a specified topic – Not unexpectedly, often the words totally unrelated to the topic are given.
Here is one such example - How would an experienced politician advice an upcoming politician to take the right ways to success ? Since this is the internet era, the solution must contain the words: e-mail, chat, phone and gram!
Here are two different solutions I came up with in the Bhamini shatpadi meter:
ಗ್ರಾಮ ಪಂಚಾಯ್ತಿಯಲಿ ಕಾಲಿ-
ಟ್ಟಾಮೆಯಂತೆಯೆ ಬೆಳೆಸು ಚರ್ಮವ!
ಸಾಮದಲ್ಲಿಯೆ ಗಳಿಸಿ ಫೋನಲಿ ಸೋನಿಯಳ ಕೃಪೆಯ!
ರಾಮನೇ ನೀ? ಬೇಡ ಸೇವೆಯ ಗೀಳು! ಹುಚ್ಚಾಟ!
ರಾಮರಾಜ್ಯದ ನೆಪದಿ ನೀಕು-
ಗ್ರಾಮದಲೆ ಮುಂದಾಳುವಾಗು! ನೋಡೈ
ನಾಮಹಾಕುತ ಜನಕೆ ಮಾಡುತಲಷ್ಟು ಕಿರುಚಾಟ!
ನೇಮವಿಡೆ ಮೇಲ್ನವರ ಫೋನಾ-
ರಾಮದಲ್ಲೇ ಹುದ್ದೆ ತರುವುದು!
ಗೇಮೆಯಲ್ಲೇ ಮೇಲಕೇರ್ವುದು ದಿಟದಿ ಬಲುಕಷ್ಟ!
And now, how about describing an outdated mode of transportation ;) – such as a bird using some modern vehicles? The question here is to describe the well known story of Gajendra Moksha, using the words “Cycle”, “Van”,”Lorry” and “Car”.
Here is my attempt at answering the question in a pancha mAtrA choupadi – a traditional 4 lined meter:
ಅಸುವು ಹೋಗುತಲಿಹವು ವ್ಯಾನಾದಿ ಪಂಚಕವು
ತುಸು ನೀನು ಕರುಣಿಸೈ ಕಲ್ಲಾಗಿಸದೆ ಮನವ
ಎಸೆವ ಕಾರ್ಮುಗಿಲಿಂದ ಗರುಡವಾಹನ ಬಂದ!
Here is another small variation of the same question to describe Gajendra Moksha episode, using the words “Auto”, “Rickshaw”, “Volvo” and “Lorry”.
ಅಸುವ ಕಾಯೆಂಬ ಮೊರೆಗೆಲ್ಲಾರಿಗೂ ಮೊದಲು
ನಸುನಗುತ ಹರಿಯಂತರಿಕ್ಷದಲೆ ಪೊರೆದ!
But to really enjoy Samasya Poorna, Dattapadi and many more interesting poetic puzzles in Kannada, I must urge you to visit Padyapaana, a great resource of fun in learning prosody. I’m sure you’ll definitely be astounded by the variety of answers to each such puzzle on Padyapaana. I strongly encourage you to go and checkout a few posts here.
(Picture courtesy: Wikipedia; Gajendra Moksha sculpture on the walls of Dashaavataara temple, Deoghar)
Yugaadi marks the beginning of the traditional lunar new year celebrated in several states of India such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Literally, Yugaadi means Adi – “the beginning of” and yuga – “an era”. As per current understanding, a yuga is a measure of time, associated the term with long periods – as in Krta, Treta, Dwapara & Kali yugas, each spanning thousands of years.
However, if we go back in time for about thirty five centuries, we find Indians had a very different interpretation of the term yuga. Vedanga Jyothisha compiled by Laagadha around ~1400BC very clearly defines a yuga as a period of five years. The very opening verse of Vedanga Jyotisha has the following verse:
pa~ncha saMvatsaramayam yughAdhyakSham prajApatim |
dinartvayana mAsAngaM praNamya shirasA shuchih ||
which approximately translated to the following:
“I bow to thee, Oh Prajapati, one who has the day, season and the half-year as limbs, the over-seer of the five-year long yuga”
Vedanga Jyotisha also tells us when the five-year yuga began based on the alignment of the Sun, Moon and stars (specifically both meeting at the star Shravishta) in the sky. Also, according to the text, five years of a yuga were called samvatsara, parivatsara, idaavatsara, anuvatsara and idvatsara. Incidentally, this beginning of a new yuga took place at winter solstice, and not at (or close to) Vernal equinox as the current yugaadi is.
Things change over time. Now, we call every year a samvatsara, and the five-year long yuga is almost unknown to most people! If you are more interested on this topic, I suggest you to read this paper by B.N.Narahari Achar is a good resource.
Wishing a very happy Yugaadi to all visitors at ಅಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆ!
Why am I making this post? No good reason, except that I clicked some pictures in my (ever so ancient) cell phone while going to a dentist appointment.
Is there anything interesting about Fremont, CA? Well, it is one of bay area cities with a high percentage of people of Indian origin. Out of about 200,000 residents, approximately 20,000 are of Indian origin.
Also, Fremont might be the one of the very few (if not the only one) cities in the USA where a Kannada speaking person is an elected member of the city council!